The online world has offered the perfect venue to make your business known to any part of the globe, allowing larger network, wider range of potential customers and suppliers, and less costly marketing promotions. However, exposing your business to the world also has its risks. Online business exposure could also mean exposure to hackers, scammers, and other risks that could threaten the business’ security and stability.
This doesn’t mean you should stop exploring the benefits and convenience of operating your business online. Instead, identify effective ways to secure your business from possible threats and attacks. Here are some of the best practices that have been tried and proven effective to help secure online businesses;
Establish secure passwords
Strong and secure passwords are your primary defence against malicious attacks. Make it long enough to keep it strong and short enough to easily remember. Use special characters and it should be alphanumeric. Run it in an online password checker link like OnlineDomainTool to validate if it is secure enough. Avoid using only one password for all your accounts and tools in the office. Sign up for a password management tool like LastPass which will help you store, secure, and memorise all your passwords.
SSL technology for electronic payments
Enable Secure Socket Layer technology to create a secure environment where you can make online transactions involving purchases and payments safe. This technology is designed to establish an encrypted connection that will allow secure transmission of data.
Secure customer information by proper organising, sorting and storing
Identify what needs to be kept and what needs to be discarded right after collecting customer data. Whatever needs to be kept should be kept securely. Store in folders with encryptions and/or password protected. Keep them for a specific period only, set an auto purge option as soon as the set time duration is reached.
Embed an alert system
There is a special feature called formal security analysis of smart embedded systems. As soon as it recognises a possible attack, or when the slightest hint of out-of-the-normal activities and transactions, an alert system is triggered.
Establish a backup data
Data corruption is rampant. Ensure a back-up system is set/enabled to protect your files and records and keep the business running. Most especially so if you keep a bulk of relevant researches and proposals relevant to your business online.
Consistency in updating your system and servers
Updating your system and its servers not only allows you more secure systems, you are also speeding up the processing of data and faster transactions. It also provides your servers an updated protection. When your servers are updated, it is less likely to match any server that contains a threat and if there is a possible attack coming from a non-updated server, it is highly traceable and noticeable.
Install security software
A lot of security software offer complete security protection from virus, malware, spyware and other threats that might infect your computers. There are countless security threats that are floating around the virtual world and they come in various forms. This paved way to the creation of different security suites designed to protect and defend your computer from their attacks. Get the right security software to ensure your computer’s security and safety.
Monitor and limit the usage of external devices like USBs and flash drives
External devices can expose and threaten the security of your computers. Make sure that you and your IT Security team work together in ensuring that your business is not only protected online but physically as well. Strictly limit the use of external devices like USBs to connect with your PC. If possible, do away with the option of allowing external devices as these could easily carry harmful viruses with them.
Encrypt all data being sent out
In cases where you need to send sensitive data from your servers, cloud storage and other facilities to your associates and/or clients over the internet, it is best to always use encryption. This will add layer of security to emails, online messages and file sharing.
Educate your employees about the security measures
In as much as it is important for you know how to protect your business from online risks, it is equally important to equip your employees with the same know-how you and your IT team have in securing the business. Protecting your company is their responsibility as much as it is yours.
Identify phishing emails/spams
Organise your mail folders and learn to properly segregate and categorise. Identify spam or phishing emails, do not respond or open and make sure to delete and block them. They are designed to capture sensitive information, ruin your system and/or corrupt your files and other infrastructure.
Require multi-factor authentication
A multi-factor authentication is designed to verify the identity of the user who is trying to access your business online systems, data and records. A two-factor or more layers of verification use different medium or means of confirming the identity of the user. During log in, a user is authenticated using SMS sent to the registered phone number, a confirmation email sent to the recovery email and/or is asked to provide answers to few security questions.
Limit access to critical information
Allow access to highly sensitive data only to few trusted members of your organisation. Follow the needs to know principle, do not give access to people who do not need the info in the conduct of performing their tasks. This will allow a tighter security and a lower risk of exposure to non-concerned parties who might carelessly damage, lose and worse, leak sensitive data to hackers, competitors and other business threatening parties.
Prepare a cyber security incident response management plan
If all else fail and an attack occurs, make sure you have response management team ready to lessen if not totally repair the damage. Identifying weak spots in your system will help in creating and implementing stronger security measures designed to better withstand risks and attacks.